Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 23
The Excise Commissioner (Punjab) has imposed a penalty of Rs 7.48 crore on the NV Distilleries and Breweries for “bending laws” to illegally transport liquor to Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh.
The order dismissed the appeal by the distillery against the penal excise duty levied by the Patiala DC (Excise). The DC's order had come on the basis of a report prepared by the Excise Department following raids in May 2020. The unit at Sandarsi near Rajpura in Patiala has been directed to deposit the amount by August 31. The department report had recorded that the unit had manufactured and stored 22,936 cases of unaccounted IMFL. Excise Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said, “In view of fraudulent attempts to cover up its lapses, the licence of the unit will be suspended for one month from August 1”.
The office of the DETC-cum-Collector, Patiala, said during an inspection on May 21, 2020, multiple irregularities were detected. The unit was illegally manufacturing IMFL for Chhattisgarh and could not also provide the demand letter for supply to Arunachal. The report also noted that an “unauthentic stock register was being maintained.” Erasable pens were being used to maintain records.
The distillery said officials didn’t have genuine orders while conducting the raids. It also said they were not served any show-cause notice before the issuance of arbitrary order. Talking to The Tribune, chairman of the NV Distilleries Ashok Jain said, “We have the required permits for carrying out work. A team of the Excise Department is always present to inspect our work so where is the question of illegal transportation? We are moving a court against the order.”
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